Learning To Fly
Country girl Tara Webster travels to Sydney to audition for the prestigious National Academy of Dance. It's a tumultuous week as she realises her dream of becoming a dancer is going to be a lot more difficult than she ever anticipated.
Starring: Xenia Goodwin as Tara Webster, Alicia Banit as Kat Karamakov, Dena Kaplan as Abigail Armstrong, Tom Green as Sammy Lieberman, Jordan Rodrigues as Christian Reed, Tim Pocock as Ethan Karamakov
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Robert Alexander as Mr Kennedy, Steve Vidler as Neil Webster, Josef Brown as Patrick, Anne Looby as Dr Wicks, Olivia Cianci as Georgia, Claire Cohen as Hazel, Matt Lee as Sean, Tahlia Gavin as Young Tara, Stephen Multari as Tim
Note: series 1 of Dance Academy was filmed from July 13, 2009 to February 2010
Tara arrives at the Academy excited about the year ahead but soon discovers that she is the worst dancer in the class. As Tara struggles to fit in, she learns the hard way to respect her teachers, who her true friends are, and to watch her back around her roommate Abigail.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Steve Vidler as Neil Webster, Vanessa Gray as Jan Webster, Deborah Kennedy as Miss Histead, Cariba Heine as Isabelle, Matt Lee as Sean, Zika Nester as Tikkinova, Shayni Notelovitz as Bonnie, Susan Honeybrook as Gloria, Lucy Quian as Isabelle's Friend, Sarah Grieve as Kat Jump Double, Marlee Barber as Tara Jump Double
Note: one name included on the posted rankings near the end of the episode is a Samantha Strauss — a nod to the series' creator and writer
When Tara's crush on Ethan threatens to derail her friendship with Kat, Sammy gets her to write a pros and cons list to clear her head. As the roommate war escalates, Abigail wins a decisive victory — emailing Tara's list to the whole school. Christian finds himself in police custody and, with nowhere else to go, has to accept his place at the Academy.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Robert Alexander as Mr Kennedy, Cariba Heine as Isabelle, Alice Markinson as Legal Aid Officer, Luke Bracey as Aaron, Neal Horton as Joel, Elizabeth McLean as Policewoman, David Palfrey as Policeman, Judd Wild as Christian Stunt Double, Ben Toyer as Aaron Stunt Double
The first years are given trust exercises to help forge connections with their pas de deux partners. Tara is frustrated when Christian refuses to participate, however they connect unexpectedly when Tara follows him to the beach and Christian rescues her from a dangerous situation. Meanwhile Kat feels betrayed by Tara's secret crush on Ethan and Sammy finds himself tied to Abigail for 24 hours.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Josef Brown as Patrick, Matt Lee as Sean, Cariba Heine as Isabelle, Jackson Haywood as Revhead #1, Judd Wild as Revhead Driver, Stephen Multari as Tim
Real Men Don't Dance
Sammy is forced to choose between dance and his father when compulsory Saturday ballet classes clash with his Synagogue services; and Christian struggles to accept the rules of the Academy.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Robert Alexander as Mr Kennedy, Josef Brown as Patrick, Tony Cogin as Dr Leiberman, Monique Spanbrook as Mrs Leiberman, Narek Armaganian as Ari Leiberman, Stephen Multari as Tim, Joseph Williams as Groudnsman, Maureen Carlisle as Sammy's Grandma
The National Ballet comes to town and Tara is stunned to learn Kat's mother is Natasha Willis — a world-acclaimed ballerina and Tara's greatest idol. Meanwhile, Sammy's perfect girlfriend Mia has unexpectedly returned from an overseas exchange and he's torn between his loyalty to Mia and his new-found attraction to Abigail.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Victoria Hill as Natasha, Rani Luther as Natasha Dancing Double, Penny Cook as Caroline, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Mia, Brooke Lockett as Swan Lake Cygnet, Sharni Spencer as Swan Lake Cygnet, Eloise Fryer as Swan Lake Cygnet, Jessica Wood as Swan Lake Cygnet, Tzu-Chao Chou as Male Ballet Dancer
Crush Test Dummies
Ethan needs a dancer for his hip-hop choreography showcase and calls Christian on the favour he owes him from when he stole money from his wallet. Christian agrees but refuses to dance Ethan's choreography, deeming it wannabe American gangster. He takes Ethan back to his old neighbourhood, to show him some real Australian street hip-hop. Meanwhile, Tara is the self-proclaimed expert on crushes and is happy to educate Kat in every aspect of the mysterious art form.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Robert Alexander as Mr Kennedy, Cariba Heine as Isabelle, Kat Risteska as Kaylah, Joel de Carteret as Tweak, David Dennis as Hip Hop Teacher, Stephen Multari as Tim, Shayni Notelovitz as Bonnie
Tara's sick of being the youngest and hates that Ethan sees her as just a little kid. So when Tara is seen talking with Damien Lang, a soloist in the Company and a local boy from Tara's hometown, a rumour is spread that they are dating. Tara is overjoyed by this rumour but when it becomes a scandal that jeopardises Damien's career, Tara is forced to admit the humiliating truth. Meanwhile, Abigail is unwilling to accept the changes in her developing body.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Robert Alexander as Mr Kennedy, Stuart McRae as Damien, Anne Looby as Dr Wicks, Kym Thorne as Hayley, Matt Lee as Sean, Shayni Notelovitz as Bonnie, Claire Cohen as Hazel, Stephen Multari as Tim
Note: Sarah Lambert's script for this episode was nominated for a 2010 Australian Writers' Guild Award (AWGIE)
Mocking her friends' obsession with teen popstar Myles Kelly, Kat creates a video of her dancing to one of his songs and then posts it on the internet. The video becomes so popular she is contacted by his music company and is invited her to dance in his next video clip. Meanwhile, Ethan views Christian as a friendly rival and the two boys begin to compete with each other.
With: Robert Alexander as Mr Kennedy, Adam Saunders as Myles Kelly, Melanie Vallejo as Dana, Olivia Simone as Tristanne, Maz Compton as VJ, Morgan Smallbone as Video Clip Director, Danielle Cook as Video Clip Dancer, Karlee Misipeka as Video Clip Dancer, Jessica Stokes as Video Clip Dancer, Helen Sweeney as Old Woman
Through The Looking Glass
Christian's best mate Aaron comes to stay and reveals the truth about the robbery they committed. Later, Aaron uses Christian as an alibi forcing Christian to lie to the police and to question whether old friends are necessarily good friends. Meanwhile, Abigail's control issues are spiralling out of control and she is caught shoplifting.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Robert Alexander as Mr Kennedy, Josef Brown as Patrick, Arianthe Galani as Julianna, Luke Bracey as Aaron, Brett Williams as Sgt Andrews, Matt Lee as Sean
One Perfect Day
Tara is elated when Ethan asks her to dance in his choreographic assessment piece. Is he finally beginning to see her as a romantic potential? But when she arrives at the studio to find Ethan engrossed in conversation with his mentor — the talented, gorgeous and much older Dana Strong — it's obvious who Ethan has his sights on. Eager to impress Dana with his talents as a choreographer, Ethan pushes Tara mercilessly to dance better. Meanwhile, Kat, Sammy , Abigail and her younger sister Paige head to Luna Park for the day. Abigail struggles to connect with Paige who would prefer to be in the company of Kat and Sammy.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Melanie Vallejo as Dana, Zoe Ioannou as Paige, Nao Abbey as Silverman, Nicole Mitchell as Pas De Quatre Dancer, Kristin Scott as Pas De Quatre Dancer
Pressure is building at the Academy as the students prepare for exam week. Tara tries to ignore her recent 'almost-pash' with Ethan so she can focus on her exams; however it's not as easy as she'd hoped. When Ethan attempts to kiss her again, Tara makes a quick exit. Remembering how awkward their first kiss was, she doesn't want to ruin her chances with a terrible second kiss as well and so Tara recruits Kat and Sammy for help.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Josef Brown as Patrick, Matt Lee as Sean, Shayni Notelovitz as Bonnie, Adam Chavolla Sheet as Kissing Boy, Kristelle McKinnon as Kissing Girl
It's Open Week at the Academy, when parents come to watch their children in a series of demonstration classes. Tara is thrilled to see her mum and dad again but when they arrive she is embarrassed that they're not as sophisticated as everyone else's parents. Later, Tara is shocked when her mum tells her the farm is in serious financial trouble. Tara realises that family is the most important thing and makes a very difficult decision about her future. Meanwhile, Kat feels betrayed that Natasha has reneged on a family holiday she'd promised in order to dance in yet another international ballet. Sammy also suffers disappointment when his father fails to attend any classes, and he is left wondering if his father will ever accept that he wants to be a dancer.
With: Tara Morice as Miss Raine, Steve Vidler as Neil Webster, Vanessa Gray as Jan Webster, Victoria Hill as Natash Karamakov, Matt Lee as Sean, Monique Spanbrook as Mrs Leiberman, Narek Armaganian as Ari Lieberman, Suzannah McDonald as Pip The Journalist
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